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Monterey Museum of Art opens A New Deal. Art of the Great Depression

The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) will host an exhibition of works by Depression-era artists, A New Deal: Art of the Great Depression, April 5 through June 17, 2012 at the MMA Pacific Street, 559 Pacific Street, Monterey, California, 93940.

Margaret Bruton, The Harmonica, undated, oil on canvas, collection of Eric and Teresa Del Piero.

A New Deal: Art of The Great Depression features a series of lithographs, etchings and woodcuts highlighting perseverance, pride and hope for economic resolution. Determined men and women are depicted at work in urban and rural scenes. Landscapes reference community collaboration as multiple building structures or farm crops rise up and wind around newly constructed roads—implying a fertile and progressive future.

In 1934, a national government program called the Works Progress Administration, better known as the “WPA,” was created to initiate local and large-scale work projects for the unemployed during the Great Depression. With the United States reaching an unemployment rate of close to twenty-five percent, the WPA included a variety of special programs which allowed Americans to regain income and regenerate the economy. This recovery act brought forth by President Franklin Roosevelt, named “The New Deal,” organized public works efforts that included construction of public buildings, roads, arts and literacy projects. Artists were given the opportunity to create artworks depicting the social-political atmosphere of the time.

The legacy of the thousands of artists who captured American fortitude and pride is preserved in the powerful images included in this important exhibition.

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